Is Sex a Dirty Word?
September 19th, 2017, 03:32 AM

In Birka, Sweden, Viking bones from grave B581 until recently were categorized as “anomalous” where “…the gender of the skeleton appeared at odds with the martial objects buried with it.” (emphasis added).5,12 Contemporaneously, in Lewes, East Sussex, England, the Priory school has ordered girls to don trousers in order to make the school uniform gender neutral. Piers Morgan, prominent UK TV figure, and Priory school sixth form “Old Boy,” has said, “Let boys be boys and girls be girls, and stop confusing them in this ridiculous way.”30 Commenting upon gendered language, Arwa Mahdawi stated, “We are more aware of the problems of gendered language than ever and, as the use of the singular they demonstrates, we are taking steps to fix it. At the same time, however, we seem to be creating a gendering of language as the popularity of words such as mansplain and girlboss demonstrate.”19 The term “gender” is misapplied, gender neutrality questioned, and “gendered language” on the rise. So what does all of this have to do with sex? This paper will …

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Kurds Need A Street: A (Classical) Liberal Case for Kurdistan
September 17th, 2017, 03:32 AM

The eyes of the world are fixed uneasily upon a referendum about to be held in the Kurdish region of Iraq. Kurds will, undoubtedly, vote for an independent homeland. It is widely felt that the fate of these people is coming to a head, their freedom calling, and war looming. Nervously, Western leaders are pressuring the Kurds to postpone the vote, as they eye the alliance forming between the Sunni dictatorship in Ankara and the Shiite theocracy in Tehran which, at last, have found a common interest: crushing Kurdish independence. The possibility of a free Kurdistan is perhaps the only flower to have grown out of the rubble of the 2003 Iraq war, but scarcely a flower grows in the Middle East without an army boot eager to trample it. The West’s failure to support Kurdish aspirations says something unflattering about the moral bravery of our generation. In pitiless realpolitik, Western leaders are correct that there are costs and risks to helping the Kurds gain statehood. Backing them will strain important relationships in Ankara and …

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Best of the Web, September 17, 2017
September 17th, 2017, 03:32 AM

Science How Congress Ignored Science and Fueled Antibiotic Resistance Maryn McKenna Wired My IRB Nightmare SlateStarCodex The Neuroscience of Intelligence: Dr Richard Haier Jordan B Peterson, YouTube Nuclear the ‘only option’ to replace coal and gas: Michael Shellenberger Graham Lloyd, The Australian The Gender Gap in STEM is NOT What You Think Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution Politics / Foreign Policy Caste is Stunting All of India’s Children Diane Coffey and Dean Spears, Foreign Policy Hillary Clinton’s book has a clear message: don’t blame me Thomas Frank, The Guardian There’s No Such Thing As Islamophobia Pascal Bruckner, City Journal Culture / Education The Campus Left vs the Mentally Ill Clay Routledge, The Wall Street Journal  “The neurodiversity case for free speech” with Geoffrey Miller Nico Perrino, So to Speak: the Free Speech Podcast

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The Brains Trust of Intersectionality
September 15th, 2017, 03:32 AM

Munroe Bergdorf, a trailblazing transgender model was sacked from L’Oréal after she tried to defend her comment that all white people are racist. In a bizarre rant, she further stated that Western society as a whole is a system rooted in structural racism and white supremacy, and tied herself in proverbial knots, defending the claim that even Heather Heyer (the woman recently murdered protesting racism in Charlottesville) is in fact also a white supremacist. In a simultaneous case, the UK’s Channel 4 interviewed someone, who declares herself an “Islamist anti-colonial feminist” named Nadia Chan. The trouble was, she is also a virulent racist and anti-Semite. In a now deleted segment, which caused heavy backlash as soon as it came out, Nadia said, that Muslims like London mayor Sadiq Khan were equivalent to traitors. When asked, if she would be okay with more Muslim representation she replied she wouldn’t be, as that would mean diluting her identity to appease the British public, her identity, in this case, meaning her religion. These might be two separate and superficially different …

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Dodging the Hard Question on Economic Mobility
September 15th, 2017, 03:32 AM

A review of Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It, by Richard V. Reeves. Brookings Institution Press (June 13, 2017) 240 pages. In an era increasingly defined by arguments about income inequality, any discussion of improving economic mobility is a welcome one. In his recently released book, Dream Hoarders, Brookings Institution Scholar Richard V. Reeves tackles the subject head-on and finds an unlikely culprit for America’s lackluster economic mobility: the upper middle class. The book is well researched and clearly lays out some of the ways in which members of the American upper middle class are entrenching their status by taking advantage of opportunities not available to everyone. According to Reeves’s analysis, this “opportunity hoarding” is a major reason why Americans are not as economically mobile as they have been in the past. Because his findings and recommendations highlight the failures of the upper middle class rather than just the dreaded “one percent,” the book has garnered plenty …

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Internet Infrastructure is the New Battleground for Free Speech
September 15th, 2017, 03:32 AM

In early August, Google engineer James Damore made headlines when his skeptical critique of Google’s diversity agenda was leaked to the public. While most of the tech media had a collective meltdown, Quillette published an intelligent response by four respected academics, defending some of the science underpinning Damore’s arguments. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay online for very long. The site was promptly hit by a denial of service attack which rendered it inaccessible for about a day. Whether the attack was the work of some left-leaning script kiddie offended by the support for Damore, or a false-flag operation designed to make us assume as much, we will likely never know. Whatever the motivation, the fact remains that person or persons unknown were able to unilaterally, albeit only temporarily, decide what legally-published content was allowed to appear online. The normal solution to attacks such as this is to enlist the services of a company like CloudFlare, who can defend a site by concealing its true location within a much larger network. This was presumably what the administrators …

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Glenn Greenwald is Wrong Again on Charlie Hebdo
September 12th, 2017, 03:32 AM

If you considered the January 2015 attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo to be of importance to free speech; if you thought the murdered brave, and the dissemination of the work for which they were murdered important, then Glenn Greenwald has some news for you: You’re a hypocritical liar who enjoys picking on Muslims and only purported to believe these things to further an aggressive, militaristic, and anti-Muslim foreign policy. I say ‘news’ but this is the same line he has been advancing since two days after the attack. He trotted it out it again for the 1st year anniversary. Now he’s had another go, only this time Greenwald has a slam dunk argument. Some people didn’t like their post-Hurricane Harvey cover cartoon: What happened here is beyond obvious: Charlie Hebdo was fun, delightfully provocative, bold, and deserving of awards when it was publishing mockery of Muslims. When its cartoonists began publishing exactly the same sort of thing aimed at white Americans, they became “vile,” “evil,” “despicable,” “losers,” and “traitors.”   In making his latest argument, Greenwald again relies on a recurring set of …

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Why Postmodern Art is Vacant
September 12th, 2017, 03:32 AM

Andy Warhol was and still is arguably the most recognisable face of modern art. His pieces sell for hundreds of millions, and to find one of his works at a garage sale or flea market would set you up for a very comfortable retirement. With his thick retro glasses and lustrous platinum wigs the man was the epitome of the avant-garde. The central function of his work and the work of his contemporaries was to jumble together high and low culture, to claim them as equal to each other, and to challenge our notion of what really was “worthwhile art.” Building on the work of the early conceptual artists from the turn of the last century, he tore asunder the old ideas of traditional aesthetic value, stating through his pieces that there can only be interpretation and that all works are of equivalent value. However, when he died in February 1987 the world got a real look at Andy Warhol and what he really considered to be “worthwhile art.” Behind the doors of his neo-classical …

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Best of the Web, September 10, 2017
September 10th, 2017, 03:32 AM

Science Why people believe in conspiracy theories – and how to change their minds Mark Lorch, The Conversation Massive Genetic Study Shows Humans Are Evolving Bruno Martin, Nature The Greater Male Variability Hypothesis – An Addendum to Our Post on the Google Memo Sean Stevens and Jonathan Haidt, Heterodox Academy Culture / Education Joe Rogan Experience #1006 – Jordan Peterson and Bret Weinstein The Joe Rogan Experience  When Speak Out Culture Becomes Callout Culture Pamela Paresky, Psychology Today The Campus Sex-Crime Tribunals Are Losing KC Johnson, Commentary Harvard Shows How it Should be Done Charles Murray, The Weekly Standard Arguments Over Free Speech on Campus Are Not Left vs Right The Economist Politics / Foreign Policy Realism is Back Jacob Heilbrunn, Politico Was Charlottesville a Turning Point for the Alt-Right? Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic The Left-Wing Threat to Liberalism Cathy Young, Forward Treason – not racism – is the only legitimate reason to pull down a statue James Kirchick, The Spectator

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How Animal Genes Go into Battle to Dominate Their Offspring
September 10th, 2017, 03:32 AM

The burdens of becoming parents are often shared unequally between male and female animals. This is particularly true of species that give birth to live young, where male duties such as defending the breeding territory and building dens or nests rarely compare with the ordeals of pregnancy and labour. You might have thought that animals just “accept” this imbalance and get on with it. But actually, they compete over how much each parent contributes. This isn’t like the competition to win a mate, with locking horns or displays of plumage. Instead this remarkable battle takes place at the level of the genes. It now appears it may have evolved very early in animal evolution, perhaps among the first child-bearing animals. What is more, it may even help to explain why animals diversified into different lineages. Creatures great and small One arena in which this battle plays out is over the size of offspring. In principle it’s in both a mother’s and father’s interests to produce bigger newborns, since they are more likely to prevail in …

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